Put a bunch of artists together in one creative space and what do you get? Less than a year after opening in Downtown El Paso the Roderick Artspace Lofts is beginning to answer that question as all 51 local units have been filled up with a diverse group of artists who are getting to know each other and planting the roots of a vibrant arts community.
“Real bonds are forming and real collaboration is happening between the Roderick residents, a group of people who are dedicated to the pursuit of making beauty and expressing themselves in creative ways,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation.
Artspace opened in January of 2017 in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation and the City of El Paso, with the goal of turning what was a vacant lot at the corner of Oregon and Missouri in Downtown El Paso into “an arts destination animated by artists and creative businesses.”
“I hope that the community they are building is going to look outward beyond the walls of the Roderick Lofts and take it out to the streets.” Pearson said. “If we can take that creativity, it’s going to add mystique to downtown El Paso and it’s going to be something that people look forward to.”
Longtime local arts advocates Chris Cummings and Katherine Brennand had the vision that brought the idea of this development to the border region. Chris’ father, Chris Cummings, Sr., donated the land for the Roderick Artspace Lofts. Artspace is a national program that has projects in operation or in development in more than 20 states across the nation.
“El Paso definitely has a strong connective artist community that we are hoping to further,” said Lucas Koski, the asset manager of the lofts.
The Roderick Artspace Lofts is having its official grand opening during the Last Thursday Art Walk on Oct. 26th from 6 to 9 pm at the El Paso Community Foundation Gallery located in the Artspace building. Residents will exhibit some of their artwork at the gallery and they will have open studios for visitors to come up and see their living and working environments at their apartments.